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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  September 18, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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in the middle east. he knocks any compromise on spending and taxes. he wants to ban abortion rights and same-sex marriage and legalize the largest gun magazines a human being can carry. oh, ye, he wants to kiss off anyone in the bottom half of the american income stream as long as it butters up the top. there is of course one powerful significant alternative interpretation. it is that what mitt romney said about the haves and what he considers the moochers is exactly what he thinks. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris. thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead -- no apology. more fallout from the secret romney tapes and his campaign scrambles to contain the damage from even new revelations from that undercover video. the tapes show his stunning true feelings about nearly half of the american people. late today, a defiant romney
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went on fox news to defend his views. >> i recognize that those people who are not paying income tax are going to say, gosh, this provision mitt keeps talking about, lowering income taxes that's not going to be real attractive to them and those dependent on government and those that think government's job is to redistribute, i'm not going to get them. i know there's a divide in the country about that view. i know some believe that government should take from some to give to the others. i think the president makes it clear in the tape that was released today that that's what he believes. i think that's an entirely foreign concept. >> the president's foreign approach to governing? this is his response to this crisis, roiling his campaign? he's talking about dependency and redistributing wealth. more of the same ugly rhetoric that came out in the video at a closed door big bucks
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fund-raiser back in may. >> 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. all right. 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. that that's an entitlement and government should give it to them. and they will vote for this president no matter what. and the president starts out with 48%, 49%, he starts off with a huge number. these are people who pay no income tax. 47% of americans pay no income tax. our message of low taxes doesn't connected. he'll be up there talking about tax cuts for the rich. that's what they sell every four years. and so my job is not to worry about those people. i'll never pay the rich. they should take personal responsibility. independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other, depending
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upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not. >> romney's job isn't to worry about these people? he's talking about nearly half the country. and they'll never be convinced to take personal responsibility for their lives? this isn't presidential talk. it's divisive and it's classless. just moments ago we got president obama's first reaction to the controversy, telling david letterman that the president needs to, quote, work for everyone, not just some. he also says, quote, there are not a lot of people out there who think they are victims. but romney thinks he can win this race by deepening the divide, by accusing the president of being polarizing. but, in fact, he's the one pushing this rhetoric of us versus them. the tape doesn't lie. joining me is ryan grim,
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washington bureau chief of t"th huffington post". he did some of the first reporting on the secret tapes and michelle carter of the washington news beat. ryan, what do you think of romney's new spin today on these videotapes? >> well, the spin is almost more damaging than the original clips. let's go back to what he told neil kavudo. he said people who don't pay taxes, let's pretend there are all these people who don't pay taxes, they won't benefit from tax cut and therefore they won't listen to my argument. that's him admitting trickle down economics is a lie. if you really believe cutting taxes for the rich benefits everybody, then you take that argument to everybody and you say, hey, look, 47% of dead beats, i'm going to cut taxes for the rich and that's going to help you because the economy's going to grow, et cetera, et
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cetera. we all know that, you know, the lip service that trickle down economics plays. so the fact that in a closed door meeting, he doesn't even pretend that tax cuts for the rich will help people other than the rich is very telling. it's something that we all know after the last 30 years of trying it. but it's interesting to see him say it publicly. >> michelle, what he's actually saying in this tape, this is no one reporting it, this is him speaking, is that he has a strategy of preying in the dividing line, preying one against another. i'm going to write 47% off because our policies don't work for them. and i'm going to play to those that feel they will get an advantage. i mean, it's the most polarizing, blatantly divisive strategy i've ever seen someone say that's running for president of all the people. >> it's a little too much honest
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there. but on one hand you have romney's problem, which he says he's playing for that 5% to 10% who vote on things like emotion, whether they like the guy, whether they think the guy is likeable. i'm not sure he wants to play that game. what he's specifically doing here is playing to his base, a lot of whom share his view that the -- that half the country that votes democratic do so because they don't understand what it's like to be successful or they're dependent on government. i mean, what he's doing here is clearly kind of pandering to the conservative base of his party. >> but imagine -- let's just reverse it. when you look at people like me that were so outraged when we heard it. imagine there was a tape of president obama, or candidate obama, saying, i don't care about the rich. i'm not going to worry about them. i don't care about them at all. i'm not going to care about getting enough to win. what they would do to the president or what they would do to any candidate that was in the
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democratic party if they had a tape saying that two donors, who are asking to contribute to finance this strategy. >> exactly. and what you see happening here is today people have lined up to take one big whack at him after another. and whatever he's been saying, trying to backtrack or i think there's been some very fancy tap dancing going on but the fact remains, he's on the defense once again. any day he's on the defensive is not a bad day for him. he's not doing well enough to coast. he's had to spend his day doing damage control. >> damage he caused. ryan, when you look at the hidden camera tapes in the may fund-raiser, he talked about his how his campaign approaches voters they think they can win over. watch this. >> we speak with voters aincrease the country about their perceptions. toes people that i told you, the 5%, 6%, 7% that we have to bring
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on our side, they all voted for barack obama four years ago. so -- and by the way, when you say to them, do you think barack obama is a fair, they will overwhelmingly say no. they like him, but when you say, are you disappointed in his policies, they say yes. and because they voted for him, they don't want to be told that they were wrong. that he's a bad guy. that he does bad things, that he's corrupt. >> that he's corrupt. new tapes released today. these are tapes we have not seen before, ryan. he also went on to talk about how he's going to be vilified. watch this. >> what he's going to do, by the way, is try to vilify me as someone who's been successful or who's, you know, closed businesses or laid people off and this is an evil, bad guy. and that may work. >> so, he's going to be vilified for being successful. trying to play that the president is going to make him look bad only because he's
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successful, ryan. a really divisive, polarizing and dishonest strategy. >> right. although the president has accused him of laying people off in many cases accurately so. now, i think what romney was saying in that first clip actually is the closest that he got to saying something true there. you know, romney here is making the case that obama is failing because the economy hasn't recovered fast enough. and that, i think, is the most persuasive argument you can make to a swing voter. you can say, he's a good guy, he's not corrupt. i like him a lot. i'm glad i voted for him. i'm glad i gave him a shot. but look, he hasn't been up to the job. they're still high on unemployment. he should have done better. you know, and bill clinton had a good formulation of it, you know, something like, we messed it up and he hasn't cleaned it up fast enough.
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that's how bill clinton rephrased it. but said the way romney said it, that is the best argument that i think they have against a candidate who -- or a president who actually is well liked and who did inherit what people do say is a really bad situation. >> it would be a fair point if it wasn't in the context of, we've already wiped away 47% of the american people. >> right, right. >> -- who don't take on their own responsibility. let's not forget, this is all one delivery. >> no, that's exactly true. wiping out the 47% of the americans, it makes it basically impossible for him to pick up those other. he has this, like -- this notion that there is this, like, 5% to 10% center that he refers to that is somehow distinct from this other 47% that he refers to. but that's crazy. you know, that 5% to 10% is going to see themselves as the
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same, you know, 47%, because the way that romney presents america, misunderstands the way people relate to government and to the safety net, some years you're doing well and you're contributing to the system. other years you're not doing as well and you're taking a little bit more from it. in your old age, you do feel entitled to health care and to some level of security -- >> maybe because you invested in it, but, i mean, he's talking like these people are getting handouts, they're lazy, they're irresponsible, laying back, collecting government money. it's an insult to a lot of our seniors. it's an insult to people barely trying to get by. let me tell you, michelle, a lot of his own conservatives turned on him today because this is so callous. "new york times," david brooks attacks romney for his comments at the may fund-raiser. david brooks, conservative columnists. it suggestings that he really
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doesn't know much about the country he inhabits. as a description of america today, romney's comment is a country club fantasy. it's what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. it reinforces every negative view of people have about romney. he's running a depressingly inept presidential campaign. this is his friends. conservative columnist bill crystal at "the weekly standard" had harsh words. he says, quote, it's worth recalling that a good chunk of the 47% who don't pay income taxes are romney supporters. so romney seems to have contempt not just for democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him. romney's comments are stupid and arrogant. these are two conservatives. >> exactly. with friends like these, who needs the opposition. but the reality is, republican establishment folks have always been a little bit nervous about
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mitt romney because everybody knew he had these problems going in. he wound up as the nominee, you know, on some level because that is all that was left after all the various surges. people are quick to jump on him because he doesn't have a loyal constituency anywhere. people get nervous when he starts doing things that, you know, make him fit the picture that people have been painting of him as this rich pollutocrat who's out of touch. as brooks put him in his column, he would like to see him pull this out. he's just not entirely convinced he can do it. >> thanks for your time. >> thank you. >> thanks, reverend. so, these secret tapes reveal what mitt romney really thinks. but they also reveal his ignore rans of the facts. we'll take a look at the truth behind the numbers. plus, some brand new nbc
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polls show a stunning shift of views on the economy and the choice in this election. folks, it's not good news for the republicans. also, we'll talk to a pair of nfl players who weren't afraid to tackle one of the most controversial issues in america today. you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc.
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what mitt romney said was stunning, but just wait until our fact check. more on the secret romney tapes. that's next. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs.
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we're back with some breaking news. president obama responding to those secret romney tapes. he made the comments for an interview to be aired tonight on david letterman. here's a clip. >> i don't know if you have seen the videotape, but i'm sure you know what we're referencing here. mitt romney at a fund-raiser, i believe in florida. there's a cell phone videotaping his remarks and he talks about being -- in dismisses ive terms why 47% of the people voting don't matter to him. what does that mean? is that just -- is that what rich guys at country clubs are talking about? >> well, i don't know what he was referring to, but i can tell you this. when i won in 2008, 47% of the
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american people voted for john mccain. they didn't vote for me. and what i said on election night was, even though you didn't vote for me, i hear your voices and i'm going to work as hard as i can to be your president. and one of the things i've learned as president is you represent the entire country. and when i meet republicans, as i'm traveling around the country, you know, they are hard working, family people, who care deeply about this country. my expectation is, if you want to be president, you've got to work for everybody, not just for some. >> there's a stunning difference between what the president says there and what we heard from mitt romney on those secret tapes. the tapes expose the disdain romney feels for one-half of
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this country. they also exposed a stunning ignorance of the facts. >> 47% of americans pay no income tax. so our message of low taxes doesn't connect. he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. i mean, that's what they sell every four years. and so my job is not to worry about those people. they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. >> i'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility? you see, to governor romney, one whole half of this country is made up of takers to him. 47% of the country is getting away scot-free. too bad the facts don't line up with that. look at this chart. among the households that didn't pay income tax last year, 61% paid payroll tax. these people aren't free-loaders. they have jobs. they're contributing. these folks paid over 15% of
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their income in taxes. and guess what? that's a higher rate than mr. romney paid. and those other people in the pie who aren't paying income taxes, they're elderly, they're student, they're people with disabilities, they're disabled veterans, they're the long-term unemployment, down on their luck because of the bush recession. these are the people who romney says don't take personal responsibility? that sort of talk is just ugly. joining me now is margie and anne lowry, economy reporter for "the new york times." she's writing about this today on "times" economix blog. thank you for being with me this evening. anne, let's break down the facts. this 47% figure romney cites
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ignores the facts that most americans are contributing. is that right? >> yeah, virtually all americans who of working age or older pay taxes. and if you don't pay income tax, you generally pay payroll tax. if you're not paying either of those taxes, it's either because you're very poor, because you're a student, because you're elderly. but the bottom line is that it is true about half of house holes don't pay income tax. the reason is complicated. the recession is a big part of it. your age is a big part of it. the statement is accurate but somewhat misleading. >> but misleading because they are paying some form of tax or making some form of contribution and it has nothing to do with personal responsibility and because they're lazy and shiftless. >> correct. these people are paying payroll taxes. the obama administration has
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lowered payroll taxes to give families a little more money in their pockets and to increase the incentive to work. the idea they're not paying any taxes is not true. >> i want to ask you one more fact before going to margie. the bush tax cuts are a reason many families no longer pay income taxes. the bush tax cuts erased the income tax burden for 7.8 million families. in reality, romney is complaining about something his party contributed to. >> yeah, absolutely. and there have been a number of republican policies to reduce the tax burden, especially on low income working families, especially on families with kids. the bush tax cuts, that's one part of it. it reduced tax rates and increased credits for things like having kids. that just wiped out a lot of people's federal income tax liability by design. that's part of what the bush tax cuts were designed to do for these families. that wasn't an accident. that is what was supposed to happen.
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>> let me go to you, margie. mother jones' video was just released, g released, governor romney talks about the country dividing the country. >> i the thing i find most disappointing in this president is his attack of one america against another america. going after those who have been successful. >> really, he's dividing america? here's a man that just talked about his job, not to worry about half the country, 47%, and they're irresponsible when we just broke down on why they're not paying federal taxes. they're contributing other ways. yet he claims the president is dividing and pitting americans against each other? >> it's amazing the combination of wrong, insulting and bad politics, bad strategy and the lack of humanity in everything that we see out of these romney tapes. it's all there.
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and he frequently does this a couple times, accuses the president of really something that he is actually part of his campaign. when you have the right and see it in the romney tapes, you see it a lot in the right, this worry, this paranoia that there is a conspiracy to increase dependency, that half of americans think of themselves as victims, mitt romney is actually labeling people as victims, people who don't think of themselves as victims at all. you have seniors on fixed incomes, you have students, you have a variety of folks who may not think of themselves as victims in any way. for mitt romney to accuse so many people of thinking of themselves that way, it shows his complete lack of understanding of the american experience. >> now, you're a strategist, margie. is there any way for him to dig himself out of this one? >> you know, a gaffe like this is particularly damaging when it reinforces what people already think about the candidates.
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and this is really what this does. i mean, it, in fact, reinforces everything we know to be about mitt romney, people's worst fears about mitt romney. and it would be one thing -- it would be bad strategy still. the strategy is wrong, his facts are wrong, but it would be one thing if he was simply caught talking about his campaign strategy, which is what he said he was doing. on top of that, he doesn't actually have policies that focus on -- you know, focus on helping seniors or future seniors who need medicare, focus on the ryan plan, as we've talked about before, reverend, wants to cut college affordability, wants to cut food assistance by 17%. his policies are similarly gens against those americans. on top of that, what's interesting -- you know, he's so hypocritical when he says i think people want to pay taxes. when rich people, the wealthiest among us don't want to pay
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taxes, that's okay. but when you have people who can't afford taxes, those people are lazy, victims, they just want a handout. >> right, no responsibility. annie, let me go back to you since you are the bearer of facts. romney claimed that people who don't pay taxes are voting for president obama, no matter what he says. but look at this map. these are the ten states with the highest number of people who don't pay federal income tax. it's estimated governor romney will get 96 electoral votes for these states. president obama will get five and 29 are toss-ups. he's potentially talking about his own supporters in these states -- according to what is polled -- could get significant electr electoral votes.
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>> half of households receive some form of government assistance, medicaid or medicare, half of households don't pay federal income taxes, half of households say they're going to vote for president obama. but the notion that all of those three things are the exact same group of people is just silly. for instance, take the elderly. the elderly very often don't pay income tax because not a lot of very old people are out working a payroll job and they are disproportionately voting for mitt romney. it's inaccurate to think -- we don't know how much overlap there is there. it is also true, like you pointed out in the map, that these republican states have tended to have more people who haven't been paying income tax in a lot of cases because they're poor. >> margie omera and ann any lewery, thanks for your time. >> thank you. >> still ahead, the results of a brand new nbc poll. with a big shift in how voters view him and the economy. ♪
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folks, have you checked us out on facebook? "politicsnation" conversation is going all day long. today our community was fired up over romney's comments about the 47%. emma says, thanks for letting us know you want to be president of the rich, but not the rest of us. while brenda hopes the
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republicans in the 47% realize that he's talking about them, too. what do you think of romney's comments? we want to know. head over to facebook and search "politicsnation" and "like" us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends. pro. monarch of marketing analysis. with the ability to improve roi through seo all by cob. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. i'm going b-i-g. [ male announcer ] good choice business pro. good choice. go national. go like a pro. less expensive option than a traditional lawyer? at legalzoom you get personalized services for your family and your business that's 100% guaranteed. so go to legalzoom.com today for personalized, affordable legal protection.
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and it's also why, with our partner in brazil, shell is producing ethanol - a biofuel made from renewable sugarcane. >>a minute, mom! let's broaden the world's energy mix. let's go. the secret tapes are just the latest rough patch for the romney campaign. and now he's facing headwind in the polls. a brand new nbc/wall street journal poll shows him trailing president obama by six points nationwide. the poll also shows that americans have some critical doubts about romney on key fairness issues. president obama leads romney by 19 point on who would do a better job looking out for the middle class. the president leads by ten points on who would do a better job with medicare.
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and he has a six-point edge on taxes. the part of the romney video getting the most attention, there's still a long way to go until election day. but right now, it looks like an uphill climb for mitt romney. joining me now is msnbc contributor and author megan mccain and democratic strategist tadd devine, senior adviser to the kerry and gore campaigns. thanks for being here tonight. >> good to be with you. >> megan, let me start with you. is it fair to say it's been a rough few weeks for romney? >> that's a fair statement to say it hasn't been the best few weeks of governor romney's campaign. but this hysteria saying his campaign is over and this election is over seven weeks out is just unfair. >> you think there's a way he can recover. what do you think he has to do? >> i think he has to stop doing things that deteriorate away from the message.
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i think he needs to really start zeroing in on the economy and how bad thing are with the deficit, unemployment over 8%. i think with things like this he needs to remember there is always a camera on him. which would be lesson number one for any public person going out in any area, especially a fund-raiser. >> tad, you've been in a lot of battles and in the fox hole politically, do you think he can recover in seven weeks? what would you tell him? >> i think megan's right. the election is not over. there are big events ahead like the debates but governor romney is in difficult straits right now. that poll tonight for the president to be at 50 now, that's -- that's a big number. also for the internals of that poll to be so advantageous to the president. the horse race number doesn't trail the internals, it follows the internals. so when the internals opening up big gaps, that's really trouble for romney. i agree with megan, eshld talk
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about the economy, talk about jobs. first, he has to clean up his campaign. he should fire whoever is leaking all this stuff to the press right now. the biggest thing romney can do, he has a resource advantage. he needs to expand the playing field of states. right now nine states are in play and he has to win all of them to win the presidency. he has to put more states in play or else he's going to lose. >> i agree. >> megan, you say he should talk about the economy. let's look at the brand new poll just coming up. >> but -- >> let's look at the poll. 39% say we're headed in the right direction. that's the highest number since september of 2009. 42% say the economy will get better. that's the highest since october of '09. 47% approve of president obama's handling of the economy. that's the highest since may of '10. right now him talking about the economy right now that's becoming the president's strong suit was romney's. >> i'm not sure where this poll
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is coming out because a gallup poll came out this morning saying president obama and governor romney are in a statistical heat so i'm not sure where you're getting -- >> an nbc poll that just came out minutes ago. well, it's an nbc poll. different polls say different things. the video that leaked, although it's a bump in the road for the campaign, my impression of this is this is very inside baseball. something we're talking about as pundits. i don't think the average american coming home worry being their job is caring about, you know, some ineloquent words governor romney said during a fund-raiser. >> tad, do you think -- let's put aside this new nbc/wall street journal poll. it's not just nbc. put that aside. do you think people that are coming home from work, struggled, tried to put ends together, may be in that 47%, do you think they'd like to be
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labeled as someone that won't take responsibility for their lives? do you think that would get their attention? >> i do. i think this is a real problem for governor romney. for months the obama campaign has been defining him as someone who doesn't care about people, who doesn't understand their problems. and now in this most recent episode, governor romney has proven the case against himself. when the free media in a campaign, this coverage of romney and the paid media of the campaign, the obama campaign has been telling people in the battlegrounds, come together, converge, are communicating the same message at the same time, it's the most powerful form of communications in politics. i think this is going to hurt g governor romney. he's going to have a hard time recovering if he doesn't change his campaign and change it quickly. >> when you look at fellow republicans, bill crystal calls romney's comments stupid and arrogant, mark mckinnon said they show a very cynical view. and then romney goes on
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telemundo last night praising his campaign. >> i have a terrific campaign. my senior campaign people work extraordinarily well together. i work well with them. our campaign is doing well. >> so, no changes in your campaign? >> no, i've got a good team. >> i mean, accept what you're saying he could turn it around in seven weeks, he first has to not be in denial and see he has a problem. >> i agree. >> these are not just gaffes. when your father ran in '08, he didn't have any of this stuff. this guy is in denial. >> all campaigns have problems. to be on a campaign is in the midst of chaos. i agree with tad, what he said earlier. governor romney has to look at who these leakers are, people being disloyal and he must get rid of them immediately because that will be the fatality in his campaign unless he gets rid of them. >> he also needs to gets a good mirror because a lot of what he's facing he caused. a lot of these wounds are
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self-inflicted. >> but he also has people leaking on his campaign, saying things that are inappropriate when you're working for that candidate. >> that's true. but people leaking tapes of what you said, you need to watch what you said. >> it's not a great week for governor romney, i'm not disputing that. >> the week before wasn't. magen and i like to spar like this. coming up, i'll talk to some pro football stars who have taken a courageous stand for equal rights. plus, some big news about voter i.d. in pennsylvania. stay with us. americans believe they should be in charge of their own future. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one.
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human rights and the nfl, it's hard hitting and it's next. right? get. out. exactly! really?! [ mom ] what? shut the front door. right? woop-woop! franklin delano! [ male announcer ] there's oreo creme under that fudge! oreo fudge cremes. now in two new flavors. try this... bayer? this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula. in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. president obama: i'm barack obamthis message.ve... anncr: he keeps saying it... mitt romney: this president cannot tell us that you're... better off today than when he took office. anncr: well... here's where we were in 2008... tv anncr: the worst financial collapse... since the great depression...
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tv anncr: american workers were laid off in numbers not seen... in over three decades. anncr: and here's where we are today... thirty months of private sector job growth. creating 4.6 million new jobs. we're not there yet. but the real question is: whose plan is better for you? the president's plan asks millionaires... to pay a little more... to help invest in a strong middle class. clean energy. and cut the deficit. mitt romney's plan? a new 250,000 dollar tax break for... multi-millionaires. roll back regulations on the banks that cratered the economy. and raise taxes on the middle class. president clinton: they want to go back to the same old... policies that got us in trouble in the first place. president obama: we're not going back, we are moving forward. anncr: forward.
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this country is changing. it's becoming more diverse, more open to people from each other and we're seeing it play out in a lot of different ways. most vividly in the race between barack obama and mitt romney. now change is coming to the nfl. >> i'm brendan, linebacker for the baltimore ravens. i believe we should be doing everything we can to make maryland families stronger, which is why i support marriage for gay and lesbian couples who want to make a lifetime commitment to each other. >> in a sport not considered
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friendly to gays, brendan says he's one of the few players willing to speak out in favor of gay rights. but one maryland lawmaker was so outraged by this, he wrote a letter to the owners of brendan's team, telling them to muzzle his player, saying many fans were, quote, appalled and aga aghast at his stand. you know what else is appalling? when an elected official tries to limit free speech. another nfl player came out in support of gay rights. minnesota vikings punter chris kluwe blasted that lawmaker saying, quote, i find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of the united states government. your vitriolic hatred and b bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted that you're responsible for shaping law.
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this letter went viral and people all over the country stood up for free speesh. joining me is bren darndan, law backer for the baltimore ravens and chris kluwe. >> what's up, bro? >> you are, that's what's up. brendan, historically the nfl has not been gay-friendly. why did you decide to speak out for gay rights? >> i think it's important that we support love and for me it's an issue of inequality. if my parents had met each other 15 years prior to when they did, they wouldn't have been allowed to marry each other because of people against interracial marriage. women's rights, women couldn't vote at one point in time. go back to slavery. the issue is equality. right now it's the gay people's time, time for them to be treated fairly. we're standing up and we're
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going to tackle equality and right now it's time for marriage equality to be passed. >> now, chris, you came out and defended brendon. what made you come out? >> well, i felt that what delegate burns had said was, you know, it was awful. not only from a free speech standpoint but also from the fact that he wanted to treat same-sex marriage, he wanted to treat gay people like they were a lesser part of our country. as american citizens, we all deserve the right to be treated the same. >> i know a little about what's going on in maryland because i've supported the fact that they're voting on same-sex marriage in november. in fact, in maryland, maine, washington, voters will decide on gay marriage, whether it should be legal this november. and minnesota voters are deciding on a constitutional ban. so, right there where you are, this is an issue on the ballot. >> right. that's why i came up. i donated two tickets to our
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game on monday night last week. and delegate burns had a problem with me donating those tickets to raise funds for marriage equality, which is why we're sitting here now. but i have to thank mr. burns because this issue is being hit not only in maryland but the other three states that need it but it's being hit internationally. we're going to change the world. we're taking it one step at a time. i'm glad this issue hit. we're going to make a big hit. chris is amazing. i'm glad he's teamed up with me. >> chris, in fairness, delegate burns has backed off, by telling a baltimore newspaper, quote, upon reflection he has his first amendment rights. each of us has the right to speak our opinions. the football player and i have our right to speak our minds. 51% of the country now support people's rights to engage in marriage with same-sex marriage,
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which is up five points. do you think that you're seeing progress on this issue, chris, in this country? and the fact that you as two nfl players, in a sport that was not looked upon as open to this, do you think you're helping with that process by being so public? >> yeah, i think brendon and myself are helping get the issue out and getting people to talk about it. when you look at it, it is a basic human rights issue. it goes back all the way back to, like brendon said, sufficienterage, segregation and slavery. there are a group of people being treated differently than everyone else. they're discriminated against and not allowed the same protections under our government laws that everyone else has. that's discrimination, plain and simple. >> when i came out, i got into it with fellow members of the clergy. in your case, the locker room, what reaction did you get from other players? any discussion, tension? what was the locker room like
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when you started going public on this issue? >> when i first started talking about this in 2009 i would hear snickering and comments, no one wanted to take the issue head-on. people would say things behind my back but in 2012 a lot of my teammates have come out in support of me. they support same-sex marriage. the difference between the two people, there's two different scenarios that go on. some people say, if you call it a civil union, i support it but i don't support marriage between same-sex couples because of the religious ramifications and what not. and then guys that flat out say, hey, if people love each other, why not, they should marry whoever they want. everybody's in support of it but it's word semantics on how they accept it. i've had about ten guys come up to me, ten teammates and talk to me about the issue. i'm surprised that everyone was on board and how supportive everybody was, houma tour everyone was to talk to me straight on and not behind my back. it's a changing of the tide. you can't just say that the nfl is a homophobic sport anymore.
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we want people around us that are good players, good people and you might even see someone come out in the nfl one day. >> chris, what reaction did you get? what reaction was the locker room like when you came out supporting brendon? >> like brendon said, guys were supportive. as you see younger generations come through the nfl, you realize kids are being brought up to realize that people are free, people should be free to live their own lives without someone else telling them what to do. it's heartening to have younger guys come up and say, hey, i think you did the right thing writing that letter. it's very nice to hear. >> all right, brendon, chris, keep speaking for fairness. thank you for your time tonight. let me say this week i'll be joining did he ha ining reveren others speaking up.
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big news tonight in the fight for voting rights. the pennsylvania supreme court has sent that state's new voter i.d. laws back down to a lower court for review. the supreme court says the original judge must block the law if he finds that voters don't have easy access to i.d. cards. in other words, the state has to prove, rather than just claim that voters can easily get the i.d.s they need and they may find it very hard to do that. just last week one man came on this show and told me about his trouble helping his 87-year-old mother get her i.d. >> drove the 25 miles there and
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back only to find out the dmv was, in fact, closed. she had to wait until wednesday. it was two hours in one line to get the form and subsequently another two hours to get the photo taken and finally get the i.d. >> is that easy access? what would have happened to that woman if her son wasn't there to help? of course, there's vivette applewhite, the 93-year-old who finally got her i.d. last month after a ton of media attention. she told me months ago that this new law was there for one reason and one reason only. >> i think the reason they want this i.d. and everything is because so many of the black people that doesn't have i.d. i think it's because they don't want obama in there, so i think they're trying to do something to keep the black people from having the right to vote. >> you don't believe her? maybe you'll believe the

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